Side drum of the Stathspey Fencible Regiment, c.1794. This rope-tensioned side drum was manufactured by Robert Home, drum maker to His Majesty’s Office of Ordnance, at the Drum and Colours, 20 Barbican, London, for Sir James Grant’s newly raised Fencible regiment. The present ropes are replacements. Drums of this type were essential instruments in the army; each company had two drums. They were used to signal commands and to beat the charge. Its rhythmic beat was also admirably adapted for regulating the movement of soldiers on the line of a march. The least pleasant duty of the drummer was to beat the time for punishments, a lash to a drum beat; indeed, it was often a young drummer who was made to inflict the first lashes. After 1751 drummers wore a regulated, distinctive dress. They were ordered to wear coats of the regimental facing colour, trimmed with lace. They wore fur caps, similar to those worn by grenadiers and pioneers, but bearing drummers’ front and back-plates. From the Seafield Collection. On loan courtesy of National Museums Scotland.
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